Molecular Imaging of the Lungs

Amit Singnurkar

Key Points

  • FDG-PET is a functional imaging modality that can change management in a large proportion of lung cancer patients by reducing the number of futile thoracotomies.
  • The main strengths of FDG-PET currently lie in excluding lymph node metastases and discovery of distant metastatic deposits.
  • FDG-PET is useful in the assessment of solitary pulmonary nodules with an intermediate probability of malignancy.
  • The role of FDG-PET in prognosis, recurrence, and non-invasive treatment planning remains an area of active research and evolving practice.
  • Limitations of PET in cancer detection are low sensitivity for small volume tumors and inability to differentiate infection and inflammation from malignancy.
  • Lung scintigraphy remains an important tool in the assessment of patients suspected of pulmonary embolus and for the prediction of post-operative lung function.
  • Radiomics and artificial intelligence, novel devices, and new radiotracers are expected to improve the utility of PET imaging for the care of lung cancer patients.

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Last updated: December 15, 2022